The Chemical Sciences Roundtable (CSR) was established in 1997 by the National Research Council (NRC). It provides a science-oriented, apolitical forum for leaders in the chemical sciences to discuss chemically related issues affecting government, industry, and universities. Organized by the NRC's Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, the CSR aims to strengthen the chemical sciences by fostering communication among the people and organizations—spanning industry, government, universities, and professional associations—involved with the chemical enterprise. The CSR does this primarily by organizing workshops that address issues in chemical science and technology that require national attention.

The topic of “Minorities in the Chemical Workforce: Diversity Models that Work” was selected by the CSR in response to concerns in the chemical sciences community about diversity in chemistry and chemical engineering. There is general recognition that future success of the chemical enterprise will require the full participation of all demographic groups, but such participation has not been achieved. After years of discussions on this topic, a workshop was planned for March 2002.

The workshop on Minorities in the Chemical Workforce: Diversity Models that Work brought together leaders in chemistry and chemical engineering from government, industry, academia, and the not-for-profit sector to gather information and explore approaches that would optimize participation by the full range of intellectual talent in the chemical workforce. Its primary focus was to expose the participants, primarily chemists and chemical engineers from all sectors, to examples of successful efforts to recruit and retain minorities—at the undergraduate level, in graduate programs, and in the chemical workforce. The focus was practical and realistic needs of institutions and opportunities for minorities in the chemical sciences. The workshop explored opportunities and challenges for transferring the prior successes into a variety of new settings in which those trained in the chemical sciences are employed.

The papers in this volume are the authors' own versions of their presentations, and the discussion comments were taken from a transcript of the workshop. In accord with the policies of the CSR, the workshop did not attempt to establish any conclusions or recommendations about needs and future directions, focusing instead on issues identified by the speakers.

Joseph S. Fransico and Isiah M. Warner

Workshop Organizers